SCPC Applauds House Minority’s Forum on PBMs; Encourages Congress to Protect Older Patients by Holding PBMs Accountable

DATE: November 17, 2021

Washington, DC – Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and minority committee members lawmakers will hold a forum to discuss the impact of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in pharmaceutical markets with industry experts, pharmacists, physicians, and PBMs. In anticipation of the forum the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) offered the following statement from SCPC President and CEO Alan Rosenbloom:

“We welcome today’s forum to examine PBMs and their anti-competitive practices, which ultimately drive-up costs for patients and put independent pharmacies out of business. A handful of PBMs dominate the market, and most are part of much larger health care conglomerates that spread both horizontally and vertically to encompass prescription drug plans and health insurers, retail, specialty, mail order, and long-term care (LTC) pharmacies, giving them immense power to favor the pharmacies they own over the pharmacies they don’t. This forces some pharmacies, especially LTC pharmacies, to provide life-saving medications to patients at a cost that could put them out of business and threaten patient access to essential medications, particularly in rural and medically underserved communities.

Older Americans with long-term care needs require an average of 12-14 prescriptions per year.  They are particularly vulnerable to soaring drug prices, and often least able to adapt when local pharmacies close. This is especially true of Medicare beneficiaries who need long-term care and typically have chronic or medically complex conditions as well. This group requires the medication management and enhanced pharmacy services that LTC pharmacies provide. Any unfair PBM practices that inhibit LTC pharmacy services or force them to close can be life-threatening for the hundreds of thousands of patients they serve daily.

Today is a great first step and we thank Rep. James Comer (R-KY) for holding this important forum. Future inquiries must be bipartisan, and since LTC pharmacies and their patients are uniquely impacted by PBMs, we urge Congress to include LTC pharmacies in policy conversations like this one. Congress must pass legislation that requires transparency in PBM drug pricing and related information and provides stronger oversight to hold PBMs accountable.”

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